Dipuo Peters: Time for talk is over

May 18 2016 18:58
Carin Smith

Leipzig – The time has come for less talk and more action regarding sustainable transport, Minister of Transport Dipuo Peters told Fin24 on Wednesday.

She is participating in the global summit of the International Transport Forum (ITF) taking place in Leipzig, Germany, this week.

“We must work together and developing countries must support developing countries in getting to a level where we do not contribute further to unsustainable carbon emissions,” Peters emphasised.

“SA is moving on various levels to realise the reaching of carbon reduction goals. Yes, we can do more to realise green, affordable and inclusive transport in SA.”

One of the challenges she pointed out is that green energy is not cheap, while at the same time it is important to make it affordable in SA.

She is happy with efforts made so far in cities like Cape Town, George, Johannesburg and Tshwane regarding the Integrated Rapid Transit (IRT) systems. So far three airports – Cape Town, George and Upington - have also introduced solar projects as part of their sustainability programme and South African Airways (SAA) is testing the use of biofuel.

“We are investing in skills development related to the transport industry and it is important to encourage South Africans to reduce their carbon footprint,” said Peters.

“The use of bicycles is another important focus for us. It should not be seen as just for sport or as a poor man’s transport. Executives, for instance, can show one can use it to get to work. It is an important means of transport.”

She would also like to see the minibus taxi industry integrated in an overall sustainable transport industry in SA. Of the estimated 4.4 million commuters in SA, the minibus taxi industry transports about 65% on a daily basis.

At the same time the transport industry must work closely with the police in order to ensure safe transport, she emphasised. The building of community safety structures in a holistic manner must form an important part of such an approach, in her view.

“As a developing country, SA is moving ahead with a sustainable transport approach despite our limited resources. The overall approach includes walkways, cycle lanes, minibus taxis, intelligent transport systems, bus rapid transport systems, trains, airports, noise reduction of airplanes and our maritime sector,” she said.

“We are not just talking anymore, we are doing something and we mean what we do.”

 - Fin24 is a guest of the International Transport Forum at its global summit in Leipzig.

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